A basic assumption underlying our biology curriculum is that all undergraduate biology majors, regardless of future plans for specialization, can profit by taking a required core of courses.

These core courses emphasize study at the molecular/cellular, organismal, and population/community levels of organization, thereby gaining a broad introduction to the science of life in all its forms.

The biology program begins with a foundational general biology course, which is followed by required courses in genetics, evolutionary biology/ecology, and plant biology, plus elective discipline-specific offerings such as animal physiology, cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, and microbiology.

The biology program is complemented with foundational classes in math, chemistry, and physics.

Further, students will have opportunities to take advanced seminar and research-oriented courses such as advanced ecology, experimental zoology, neurophysiology, and molecular genetics.

Biology Course Plan (first 3 semesters)

This is an example course plan based on the 2018-2019 University Catalog; your actual schedule may deviate from this example. Your faculty advisor will work with you to select appropriate courses.

As an IWU student, it is your responsibility to track your progress each semester towards completing graduation requirements using the MyIWU degree evaluation tool.

Year 1

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

May Term

  • Optional
Year 2

Fall Semester

*If students are definitely not heading for a graduate or professional school, the second year of chemistry is not required for the major. Chemistry 311-312 is, however, a prerequisite for a number of upper-level biology courses.

**Biology majors should take only ONE biology course in the fall semester of their sophomore year. They should not take physics until their junior year.


Study Abroad

For students interested in studying abroad, the recommended semester(s) is: fall, third year.

Additional Information
  • Students planning to double major in Biology and Secondary Education should follow the Biology/Secondary Education Course Plan.
    • Students planning to teach biology at the secondary level should plan to complete EDUC 225 and 255 their sophomore year.
  • If students are even considering biology as a major, they must enroll in Biology 101 and 102 during their first year. If they wait until their sophomore year to take the general biology sequence, they will have only two years to complete 8 additional courses in biology, which is essentially impossible.
  • AP credit does not substitute for the general biology courses and students will not receive credit toward the major requirements.